April 30th, 2013 Sea Day
This morning we attended the disembarkation talk and crew farewell. This is when the cruise director tells you everything you need to know about disembarking the vessel, custom forms to complete, when to place your bags outside your cabin door and more. The crew had created a video with everyone who works on the ship, waving goodbye from their work places around the ship and then most of the 650- crew members fill the stage to say good bye in person. Champagne was served and many tears were shed as reality sunk in that our Grand World Voyage was drawing to a close. Mark was particularly affected! Several of our older lady friends were sniffeling while others just drank Champagne. Even some of the boys were also sad and we made promises to stay in touch with many!
The hallways began to fill with luggage bags early in the day as the crew wanted to get a head start on the reported 10,000 pieces of luggage onboard that needed to be taken down stairs and loaded into large cages so they could easily be moved off the ship with a forklift the next morning. Bags appeared and disappeared from the hallways all-day and late into the night.
Our friend, Jenn, treated us to one last lunch in the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant onboard to thank us for our friendship and for helping her to hold it together when she wanted to leave the ship during the first month or so. She was anxious to get home and get back to normal life, but also happy that she had stayed until the end of the cruise. We reminisced about the places we had been and the fun we all had together. It was a great lunch.
The afternoon was filled with packing and readying ourselves to return home tomorrow. We are sad to have the trip come to an end but at the same time realize that it is not possible to stay on the ship forever. Everyone deals with saying goodbye differently, so we shared a few laughs with some and a few hugs with others. Kent stopped by several tables to say goodbye to some of his favorites and went to do emails. Later, Heidi (and Constatine) stopped Mark and asked if Kent’s cold was better and gave Mark one of their cards, along with an invitation to visit them in Greece soon. Would love that! Most passengers, however, retired to their cabins early for a good night’s sleep before a long day of travel tomorrow.